These chair yoga poses will improve posture and reduce back pain

Doing yoga in a chair will help you feel more supported (Photo: Deborah Green)

Our sedentary lifestyles cause all kinds of worries, aches and pains and long term problems.

Long working hours and free time spent online or excessively watching TV can have a huge impact on our health. It’s a pain in the neck, literally.

A YouGov survey commissioned by HSL found that more than half of adults (57%) aged 60 or older have constant pain. Of those who have suffered, 60% experience back pain. It’s not just a problem for the elderly either.

Adopting poor posture over a long period of time can have serious side effects, ranging from neck and back pain to chest pain, shortness of breath, fainting, fatigue and physical fatigue, and headache. stomach, digestive issues and more.

When you slump down, so does your spine, which can impact your body’s circulatory system, making breathing more difficult and movement comfortable.

There are many causes behind poor posture, however, the most common triggers are stress, sitting in a chair that does not support or is set at the wrong height, sleeping on a mattress that does not not supporting or a lack of regular exercise and activity.

But some simple exercises could provide much needed aches and pains relief, and even help improve your posture in the long run. And you don’t even have to get up to do them.

Yoga teacher and expert Deborah Green says, “Practicing yoga in a chair is a wonderful way to bring mobility and movement to your body, regardless of your age or ability, by releasing any stiffness or tension in your body. muscles.

“These are just a few of the physical benefits, as yoga also helps with anxiety, stress, mental clarity, and focus. Chair yoga can help you feel a little more secure and supported as you move and release your body.

Deborah has teamed up with furniture maker HSL to bring together six of her favorite chair yoga poses that will improve and promote better posture, with the added benefits of boosting your sense of calm.

“Before you start, first adjust your posture as this will help you breathe properly and deep in your lungs,” advises Deborah.

“Sit well, but add cushion support if you feel your back muscles getting tired at any time.

“To encourage relaxation and get into the right open space for your practice, I encourage you to take deep, slow breaths for five minutes before moving on to your warm-up.”

Mobility-focused warm-up

Put your hands on your shoulders and simply rotate your arms and shoulders back, imagining you are drawing a circle with the tips of your elbows as you do ten repetitions.

right back circles

While still seated, place your feet slightly wider than they naturally fall, and place your hands on your knees for support as you begin to rotate your chest in circular motions.

You will feel your chest opening forward as your belly remains soft, and as you move forward in your rotations, try to pull the belly into the spine to help the lower back to settle. round.

To get the most out of this move, I recommend doing it ten times in each direction.

Open up your chest and shoulders

Bring yourself to the edge of your chair and gently take your arms behind your lower back, using your hands to find the opposite wrist and working to bring them together until resistance is felt.

Once you feel resistance, stay here and take six slow, deep breaths, allowing yourself to relax into the pose. Slowly release your arms, spreading your shoulders out of the pose.

Seated hip opener

Slowly bring your left ankle back to your right knee and let it rest here. Take ten deep breaths to ease the movement before bringing your foot back to the ground and repeating it on the other side.

If you feel like you have more tension in this area, feel free to relax in the pose for as long as you need to.

Open the side of your body

Chair yoga

Feel that side stretch (Photo: Deborah Green)

Sit up straight in your chair and raise your left arm, gently letting it drop to your right side as you enjoy a deep stretch to the side of your body.

Comfortably settle into the pose by taking five deep breaths and repeating it on the other side.

Do the loop

Return to the straight back circles you took in the first step of your practice, extending your feet slightly wider than the resting position and placing your hands on your knees as you rotate your chest in circular motions.

Continue to allow yourself to turn ten times in each direction, enjoying the relaxation of your final pose and allowing your entire face to relax as you allow your breathing to return to its own natural flow.

HSL Postural Expert and Freelance Occupational Therapist Julie Jennings says: “Throughout our day-to-day lives, our backs are naturally under a certain level of stress, whether it’s sitting at a desk. all day long, sleeping on an uneven floor and unsupportive mattress, or being inattentive to the way we stand.

“It’s important that we provide our spine with some rest and relaxation to offset any unnecessary strain that could lead to more serious health issues down the line.”

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